Mike sat next to Jeanie on his single bed with the Cleveland Indians sheets he'd had for a decade. He tried not to think about the debased things he wanted to do to his girlfriend atop the ancient handmade quilt; his Grandmama had made it for his first birthday. He was being very good, though. He had to be. Mike understood that he must be on his best behavior for the question he wanted to ask that night.
"So what did you want to do?" Jeanie said, glancing sidelong at him, dark eyelashes fluttering. She probably thought she was being coquettish; it looked more like a stroke. "Do we... have any plans?"
Mike grinned. "I have a few plans, yeah."
"Romantic plans?" She batted her lashes. The stroke was now a seizure. "Are you planning to make love to me, Michael?" She said this in what was the worst approximation of a Russian accent he'd ever heard.
She always called him "Michael," like that would make him more of an adult.
Plus, he thought as he traced his fingertip up her spine, feeling her shiver, what was the deal with making love? What was wrong with good ol' fashioned screwing?
He decided not to push his luck, reaching out to her with a semi-confident hand and enjoying her giggle as he yanked her closer, and then he smothered her laughter with his mouth. Mike knew he wasn't especially good at the whole sex thing, but he was fairly secure in his kissing strategy. Tracing the seam of her mouth with his tongue, she opened for him and allowed him to explore.
As they drew apart minutes later, gasping for air like beached fish, he realized there would be no good opportunity to ask this question. He might as well fly cock-first into it. "I have an idea," he said.
"Mmmm?" She ran her tongue along his bottom lip and bit it gently. He forgot how words worked for a moment.
Clearing his throat, he regained his focus. "A new toy."
Jeanie drew back. "Really." She sounded skeptical, even suspicious. Sex for Jeanie was standard missionary and perhaps an encore if she'd had a glass of wine beforehand.
Feeling ever more foolish as the seconds passed, Mike leaned over to open the bedside drawer and withdrew an item from within. Jeannie actually laughed at the sight of it.
"Tell me that's a joke. You're kidding me."
Oh, he'd ruined his chance. He knew it already. He should have brought this up over a stupid candlelit dinner. "I thought we could try something new!" he said with false enthusiasm.
Her voice was flat. "I'm not interested in that, Michael."
"Look, it's not love unless you can use --"
She stopped him with a hard, curious look, her gaze searing into his. "Wait."
"You love me?" she said in a small voice.
Oh shit. He opened his mouth to respond, with what words he had no idea, but he was cut off when her body slammed into his, her arms thrown around him to squeeze like a squid.
"Ah," he said in little more than a squeak, terror flooding through him, "I meant --"
"You love me!" Jeanie exclaimed, her eyes wild and bright. She peppered his face with kisses. "I love you too, Michael!"
He squeezed his eyes shut, cursing so loud inside his head he was surprised she didn't hear it.